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UCI confirms top teams licenses for 2021

Door opens for Mathieu van der Poel to race Tour de France as his Alpecin-Fenix team will have entry to all WorldTour races.

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The women’s WorldTour expands from eight to nine in 2021, while the men’s WorldTour remains at 19 going into next season despite some worries that teams might close due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The UCI confirmed Wednesday that nine women’s teams and 19 men’s teams received WorldTeam and WorldTour licenses, respectively, for the 2021 season.

Team SD Worx takes over from the Boels-Dolmans women’s team, and moves into the women’s top tier for the first time to expand the league from eight to nine for 2021. Movistar Team, GreenEdge Racing (formerly Mitchelton-Scott), and Team DSM (formerly Team Sunweb) have also been approved for Women’s WorldTeam licenses for 2021.

Teams already holding a WorldTeam license for 2021-2023 include Alé BTC Ljubljana, Canyon-SRAM Racing, FDJ Nouvelle Aquitane Futuroscope, Liv Racing (formerly CCC-Liv), and Trek-Segafredo.

On the men’s side, 19 teams received WorldTour licenses for 2021, while an additional 19 teams were granted ProTour credentials. The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team bumps up to the WorldTour for the coming season, filling the void left by CCC Team. The future of NTT Pro Cycling came down to the wire, but the team will retain its WorldTour spot in 2021 with the late arrival of new sponsors Assos-Qhubeka.

The big news in the second tier is that superstar Mathieu van der Poel will have an open door to race the Tour de France in 2021, if he wants to.

His Alpecin-Fenix squad will receive special dispensation for the coming season after winning the 2020 team title. As the top-ranked ProTeam, van der Poel and Co. will be given starts in all WorldTour events in 2021.

Van der Poel has already hinted he will race the 2021 Tour before heading to Japan to race in the Tokyo Olympic Games in mountain biking.

Arkéa-Samsic — the current home of Nairo Quintana — will be granted a spot in all the WorldTour one-day events as the second-ranked ProTeam. That means Quintana and his teammates will need to earn a wild-card bid to earn a start at the 2021 Tour.

ProTour team Alpecin Fenix will be permitted to race in WorldTour events in 2021. Photo: Mark Van Hecke/Getty Images

2021 women’s UCI WorldTeams licenses

Alé BTC Ljubljana
Canyon-SRAM Racing
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitane Futuroscope
Liv Racing
Movistar Team
GreenEdge Racing
Team DSM
Team SD Worx

2021 men’s UCI WorldTour licenses

AG2R Citroën Team
Bora – Hansgrohe
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Groupama – FDJ
Ineos Grenadiers
Lotto Soudal
Movistar Team
Trek – Segafredo
UAE Team Emirates
Astana – Premier Tech
Bahrain Victorious
GreenEdge Cycling
Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux
Israel Start-up Nation
Team DSM
EF Education – Nippo
Team Qhubeka Assos

2021 men’s UCI ProTour licenses

Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec
Bardiani – CSF – Faizanè
Bingoal WB
Burgos – BH
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Eolo Kometa Cycling Team
Equipo Kern Pharma
Euskaltel – Euskadi
Rally Cycling
Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
Team Novo Nordisk
Total Direct Énergie
Uno – X Pro Cycling Team
Vini Zabù Brado KTM
B&B Hotels p/b KTM
Team Arkéa – Samsic